The Santa Barbara Chapter of the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America's 41st Annual Parade of Harmony at The Garvin Theater is a lively, upbeat evening of some of the finest a cappella harmony around. The show is built around the 60 voices of The Channel City Chorus led by Mike McGee. If you like smooth, this is it! We have a seamless mix of Americana that features the opening "Broadway Medley," pop tunes from the '50's and '60's, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", along with renditions of the anthmns of the four branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, and the classic "Goodnight Sweetheart." Brent Anderson is the Master of Ceremonies, as five of the individual Barbershop Quartets perform their shows. We open with The Blarney ToneS bringing us a wee bit of Ireland, and Quartet du Chris gives us a rousing medley of Stephen Foster songs. Barbershop Quartet singing is about humor, stage presence, and schtick as much as it's about smooth flawless harmony. It's also about ambition, and in a ruthless attempt at success, Fast Track has even stolen a tenor! Craig Schmidt tells us, if you like us we're Fast Track if not we're Quartet du Jour. That's the next act on the bill, and the quartet that Schmidt has been "stolen" from, although he still appears with them. The final quartet is Metropolos, the Far Western District Champions. Their rendition off the pop icon "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" is doo-wop at it's best. The Friday show, which I attended, also featured the soloists and Chorus of La Colina Jr. High Mixed Vocal Ensemble performing, among others a rollicking "Dancing in the Streets." When the kids weren't onstage they were in the first few rows, and they established a subtle rapport and interaction with the men that turned an outstanding show into an absolutely electrifying evening of entertainment. This was my first experience with a live Barbershop style show, and it was one of the most fun evenings I've had in ages! The Santa Barbara Chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America perform three or four programs a year around Santa Barbara. Their 41st Annual Parade of Harmony concludes tomorrow at 1:30 pm at The Garven Theater on the beautiful west campus of City College.

 


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Last Updated Monday, May 04, 1998 by Paul Berenson